Ponmudi Thottea
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Ponmudi Thottea
P Native Photo: C. Rajasekar
Common name: Ponmudi Thottea
Botanical name: Thottea ponmudiana    Family: Aristolochiaceae (Birthwort family)

Ponmudi Thottea is a shrub with branches arching with swollen nodes. It is named for the Ponmudi Hills, near Trivandrum, Kerala, the place where it was first found. Leaves are alternate, up to 17 x 6 cm, elliptic-lanceshaped to inverted-lanceshaped, tapering at tip, entire, slightly papery, shining green, grannulate and sparcely hairy on the upper surface, densely grannulate, finely velvet-hairy and prominently netveined on the lower, 3-neved from base, the lateral pair arising 2-3 mm above the base and extending to above the middle of the blade; shortly stalked. Flowers are borne in leaf-axils, in nodding cymes, on flower-cluster-stalk 1-1.2 cm long; bracts ovate or elliptic, the upper smaller. Flowers are yellow with dark purple eyes, regular, 8-10 mm across. Flowers are lobed to the base, tepals 3, broadly round, rounded or blunt at tip, broader than long, 7 x 10 mm, margins strongly reflexed. Gynostemium is 5 mm across, minutely finely velvet-hairy. Stamens are 9. Capsules are 7-9 cm long, green, becoming hairless and sharply 4-angled; seeds many, trigonous, rugose. Ponmudi Thottea is endemic to Southern Western Ghats.

Identification credit: C. Rajasekar Photographed in Kallar, enroute to Ponmudi, Kerala.

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